Galaxy S3 Versus iPhone 4S: Battle of the Titans

By Johnny Wills | May 04, 2012 02:27 PM EDT

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Samsung has finally released its new flagship smartphone - the Galaxy S3. Samsung's dethroned king - Galaxy S2 - is the biggest rival of Apple iPhone 4S, at least until now. Galaxy S2 and iPhone 4S are often compared but it gets complicated to conclude which one is better. Now, after a new flagship device has been launched, people are eager to know whether Galaxy S3 can beat iPhone 4S or not.

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In an attempt to solve the riddle, we are comparing Galaxy S3 with iPhone 4S. Could it beat iPhone 4S? Let's find out.

Design and Display

Like Galaxy Note, Galaxy S3 is also a giant-screen phone. It sports 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display safe-guarded by second-generation Corning Gorilla Glass. At 8.6mm thickness, the phone weighs just 133 g. All the light-weight is achieved by plastic body. However Galaxy S3 does not feel cheap at all. The dimensions of the new smartphone are 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm. It has the same form factor as Galaxy S2, but with bigger display and comparatively superior build quality.

On the other hand, Apple iPhone 4S is all made of premium metal - aluminum unibody design. The looks are killing. But the disadvantage is that it has a smaller screen. iPhone 4S has 3.5-inch qHD display with scratch-resistant coating. The dimensions of iPhone 4S are 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm and it weighs 140 g.

Apple iPhone 4S has better build quality. However, Galaxy S3 has bigger display, better resolution and is thinner and lighter than iPhone 4S. Also, bigger screens matter a lot these days. So Galaxy S3 gains a slight advantage in this round.

Processor and Memory

Samsung Galaxy S3 packs quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor fitted on Exynos 4212 chipset. Like its predecessor, Mali 400MP is the gaming gear of Galaxy S3. It has 1GB of RAM and comes in three models with 16/32/64GB of internal storage. Offering expandable memory options, it features microSD card up to 64GB. So on a 64GB model of Galaxy S3 with 64GB microSD card inserted, the total storage memory gets to whopping 128GB.

In comparison, Apple iPhone 4S features dual-core 1GHz A5 processor. The device has 512MB of RAM and 16/32/64GB of internal storage. However, there is no microSD card slot in iPhone 4S.

Galaxy S3 wins the round with a more powerful processor, more RAM and bigger storage.

Connectivity

Galaxy S3 has advanced a lot in terms of connectivity. The U.S. version of Galaxy S3 will be 4G LTE compatible, while the global version ends at HSPA+ connectivity. Other connectivity features are Wi-Fi (with DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot functionality), Bluetooth v4.0, NFC, microUSB v2.0 (MHL), assisted GPS with GLONASS and FM Radio.

Turning to iPhone 4S, there is no 4G LTE variant of Apple's flagship smartphone. The GSM model supports HSPA+ networks, while CDMA version supports 3G EV-DO network. Other connectivity features include Wi-Fi with hotspot functionality, Bluetooth v4.0 and assisted GPS with GLONASS support. There is no FM Radio support in the device.

Galaxy S3 again wins this battle of connectivity.

User Interface

Samsung's home-baked TouchWiz UI is not the perfect one. But in Galaxy S3, Samsung is doing everything it can to change the fact. The device runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box with a refined TouchWiz overlay. With partnership with Dropbox, Galaxy S3 owners will get 50GB of free Dropbox storage from next month. S Voice app is becoming more like Apple Siri that can do anything on voice commands. There is a bunch of new features that are introduced in software department of Galaxy S3.

Apple iPhone 4S is upgradable to iOS 5.1. iOS offers less customizing options but is very simple to use. Also, Apple iTunes Store has more number of apps than Play Store.

But, smartphone users have their own tastes. Some are addicted to android, while others find iOS more suitable. So we call it a draw here.

Camera

Galaxy S3 is loaded up with 8-megapixel rear sensor that can capture excellent quality pictures with near zero shutter lag. Burst mode has been added to camera UI that let you capture pictures very quickly. Even without burst mode, you can take 3 pictures every second on Galaxy S3. It records 1080p videos at 30fps. There is also a front-facing 2-megapixel camera in the device.

On the other side, Apple's iSight camera module has made iPhone 4S more like a digital camera. The 5-megapicel camera shoots excellent quality photos. However, the shutter lag makes it fall short against Galaxy S3. Apple iPhone 4S records 1080p videos at 30fps.

Samsung Galaxy S3 holds a slight advantage here because of burst mode and near zero shutter lag.

Conclusion

For most of the specs, if not all, Galaxy S3 outguns iPhone 4S for its features. However, it is too early to conclude a final result. A final result can be known once Galaxy S3 gets released in the market. But looking at the revealed features, we fear that it could get difficult for iPhone 4S to give a serious competition to Samsung's new smartphone.

(reported by Johnny Wills, edited Dave Clark)

 

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